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Messages - The Bad Duck

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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.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 DG OS HSM Delayed
« on: April 19, 2013, 05:26:25 AM »
Mr. Bad Duck, I don't know if I'm supposed to laugh or not.  Pics of fertilizer?  Hahah, ok.  Tractors?  That would be more interesting.  Post some shots of tractors.  Are you making money by selling prints of tractors?  Sounds like fun!

Don't you think the person you haggled with, might read this post of how much you love the lens, and be angry that you're bragging how you got him to come down on the price?  You know, because it's an "old lens" and nobody will want it?  Hahaha...

Happy to amuse you. I understand that shooting farmwork is a bit unusual. But I pay for all my photoequipment doing so and I really enjoy it. Fertilizing is big money, and intersting in many ways. It´s probably what keep you alive since we would procuce way less food without it. That is beside the point though, the 120-300 is sharp sharp sharp and seems to handle som abuse. I will find out if the second statement is true this winter after the season.

Nah, don´t think anyone will read this and be angry with me. They got the deal, and they made money. Everyone is happy, except perhaps for the three stores that did not get the deal. My point was that if I made it, perhaps so can you.

As for optical formula, I don´t think it is changed in the new lens. I head somwhere about rumors of new coating on a piece of glass or two, but I talked to some of the guys doing repairs for Sigma in Sweden, they said that no new glass was in the lists of repairitems for the new lens. Don´t know if that is true or not.

Anyway I´m most pleased with the current non-sport-version.

Online print stores. I´m Swedish so there seem to be little point in pointing you to the companies here, but I use Fujidirekt and Crimson. It´s too expensive to own a printer that prints big enough, I have a look at them every year, calculate and reject.

I still strongly feel that there is no substitute to slide film when it comes to experiencing a photo. But slides are too limiting to work with, so instead I, like almost everyone else, shoot digital and then I print my photos. There is no way you can compare a big print of 1m x 70 cm to a photo viewed on a monitor or any kind of screen. The print blows it away. So to me it´s slides > big prints > small prints > 30" monitor > any monitor > smartphone.

Print my friends, print. If you don´t print then maybe you don´t like the photos but the cameras. (There is nothing wrong with that, it´s just not photography that is your hobby but playing with cameras). Just sayin´.
And if you have not printed something big, you should give it a try. A2 (100 x 70 cm) is adictive. It helps me to think, every time I shoot, that THIS photo should be printed big. That makes me try harder and really make good photos. Then in the end I only get 2% really good shots, but hey...

Canon General / Re: Why do you do Photography?
« on: April 16, 2013, 02:50:39 AM »
Photography and my girlfriend (6 years now) seem to be the only things I never get tired of. I get so much energy and inspiration and it makes me want to push myself to be better and never dissapoint. It must be love.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 DG OS HSM Delayed
« on: April 15, 2013, 09:49:05 AM »
I actually bought the old (current) version of this lens. It´s great!
I cant compare it to the Canon 300/2.8 as I have never used that lens but for the price it is absolutely great.

It´s well built, it is SHARP and it focuses well; although I have only tried it on tractors so far and they are not the fastest moving subjects (15 km/h heading straight for the camera). If focus misses it does hunt for a little while. I can see the use of a focus limiter but the extra premium to pay for that feature is not at all worth it to me.

I took some shots of fertilizing crops with artificial fertilizer with my mkIII and the lens @ 300 /2.8. When zoomed into 200% every grain of fertilizer is visible. It´s silly how sharp it is.
Then the "negative" side is that it has some pretty heavy vinjetting so the corners are pretty dark but there is no way I could afford the canon 300 /2.8 L IS anyway.
I´m most pleased. One thing that made the whole thing even sweeter was that I could haggle for the lens + 5d mkIII kombo, lowering the prize with about 15%, agruing that the lens is an old design that they soon could not sell.

If you want i can try to remember to post the photo later this evening.

Oh and one last thing, a lens this expensive is supposed to earn me money over a perriod of say ten years. In other cases a purchase would be hard to justify.

EOS Bodies / Re: diy ideas on how to protect camera from rain?
« on: April 07, 2013, 04:27:24 AM »
I took a plastic bag, made a hole in it that fit to put the lens (70-200 /4) through, and kept the rest over the body, a 30d. Pouring rain fot two hours while I photographed puffins. Worked perfectly but it felt strange to pull the bag over my head to get to the body. Like an old time camera. But hey whatever works...

Lenses / Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
« on: April 04, 2013, 04:03:07 AM »
I think of primes vs zooms like this; a prime is a specialist tool and a zoom is more general. When I mount a prime on my camera I have a specific type of image in mind and I look harder for that image compared to when I have a zoom mounted.

So, when you get yourself a prime, you need to think about what you want to do with that lens. Is it portraits of torso/head? Go 85/100/135.
Enviromental portraits? 35/50.
Street? Well... pick your favorite focal length.
Landscapes are usually done wide, but up to 200 mm can be usefull.

If your shot is done >f /4 then it is hard to see any reason to get primes, save for the t/s lenses already mentioned. So in a studio... not much need for a prime. For landscapes, no need for primes (but a good tripod and remote trigger). So, if I head out the door looking for landscapes I usually bring f/4 zooms (and tripod). If I shoot a wedding I use my primes most of the time, same for portraits and models. For my farmphotography, I am usually back to zooms or the samyang 14 /2.8 (and monopod). The right tool for the work ahead.

You need to start with what result you are after. If you do not know, then you are not allowed to buy more gear ;) . Figure out what you want to do, then get the tools to do so. And know that you have good equipment already.

Good luck!

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
« on: March 08, 2013, 09:48:11 AM »
Great lens!
It´s better than I thought and gives great results, but I like primes more. Not for better quality or sharpness and not that I think every photo is better with shallow DoF but because... I like to use primes.

You guys already know all there is to know about the lens from photozone and the-ditigal-picture. No need to point out the obvious.

Lenses / Re: What's the best deal you've ever gotten on a lens?
« on: February 18, 2013, 05:07:00 AM »
Can´t remember the cost but ef-s 10-22 bought refurb. on a trip to London (I´m a Swede). Sold it used with profit 18 months later when I moved to FF. One of the best lenses I´ve owned, and I used it a lot "for free".

ef 85 /1.8 bought used very cheap in perfect condition. About 385 US$. Great great lens.

Then.... 35 L, 135L, 70-200L, 17-40L, 24-105 L IS, all new. They are worth every $. Lenses last.

Technical Support / Re: Connect DSLR to PC/Projector wireless
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:07:06 AM »
Eye-fi cards used with some of the CF-SD-adapters that do not block the wifi-signal (I assume that the adapters should contain a minimal amount of metal) are said to work at short distances.
However, reports also points to dataloss in the files meaning that it does not seem to work very well. I would NEVER use eye-fi for important photography combined with a adapter. Not because they are not supported but because I really do think there is a risk of dataloss.

WiFi grip is too expensive I´d say.
Find a friend with a 6D or a rebel with SD-slot + eye-fi?

Good luck!

Lighting / Re: Off camera flash
« on: February 11, 2013, 05:07:10 AM »
Learning to use the flash in manual mode is by far the best route to go UNLESS you have a lot of changing light in your frame or light/subject distance is varying a lot. After a little while you can get perfect exposure from manual flashes in just a few test shots. Or use a light meter :)

For everything you want to know, visit strobist.blogspot.com.

good luck and welcome to the fun side of photography where YOU controll the light!

Lenses / Re: Need advice on telephoto zoom Lens
« on: February 08, 2013, 10:58:42 AM »
Now I´m going to make suggestions on lenses I have not used or just used once.

The 400 /5.6 is great if you can keep shutterspeeds up, and you can pump the ISO up quite a bit on a 5d mkIII. If you want a zoom, the sigma 120-300 /2.8 OS seems like a really nice lens. From looking at examples on the-digital-picture I got to the conclution that it takes extenders nicely and from 200mm and up it can compare with the 70-200 II /2.8 IS L. Up to 200 the L wins. On the other focal lengths I found the sigma equal or better. But that may be just me. The L is better in the bordes, the Sigma is quite sharp in the middle.
Then again, I don´t know if the sigma has some disadvantage in other areas that are important to you.

The 70-200 /4 and the 100-400 are quite a bit cheaper and that does make a differense. Both the 70-200´s are extraordinary good lenses but if you are used to 300 mm on aps-c, then 200 mm on FF will feel very short.

 So, my suggestion, have a look at the 400 /5.6, the 120-300 /2.8 OS + 1.4x extender, and the 100-400. Personaly I am seriously considering the 120-300.

good luck. This is not easy.

Lenses / Re: IS or no IS?
« on: February 08, 2013, 04:42:12 AM »
IS. No doubt about that.

One thing it does besides the things already mentioned above is to give you a steady viewfinder/LW while composing your image and help with panning. I´m no video guy but that seems helpful there too.

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