December 19, 2014, 08:08:46 PM

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Messages - RobertG.

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Landscape / Re: Panorama over Bogota from Monserrate
« on: August 06, 2014, 01:06:50 PM »
Hi Richard,
it's a nice panorama. I like the dramatic sky over the city. The aspect ration is not my favorite. I prefer 2:1 or 3:1, so I shoot such panoramas in portrait mode to have enough space for cropping later on.

Kind regards, Robert

Lenses / Re: How resistant are L lenses against the shocks/vibrations?
« on: August 05, 2014, 03:06:43 PM »
From my own experience the Canon L lenses are quite resistant against vibrations and shocks. Earlier this year I was hiking in northern Thailand's mountains. During a short stop I put down the backpack to take a closer look on one of the wild orchids. Unintentionally I hit the backpack, which started bumbing down the mountain. It were about 50 meters. Half way down the tripod flew out of the backpack and during some bumps the backpack flew up to one meter or more. It finally stopped in the valley of a dry brook. It took me about a half hour just to climb down the steep mountain to retrieve the tripod and backpack.
Nothing was broken and all of the equipment still works fine. Included in the backpack were: a 5DII, TS-E 24 mm II, TS-E 45mm, Tamron SP 24-70 f2.8, TS-E 90mm f2.8 & EF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 L, a carbon fibre tripod, a dozen filters, my tablet PC etc. Only the ball head and panorama plate got some scratches and a screw was lost. Of course the backpack collected a lot of dust and dirty during its journey. The backpack is a 5-year-old Lowepro Primus AW.

Lenses / Re: advice for new lens´╝čplease
« on: August 03, 2014, 12:39:24 PM »
Keep the lenses you have at the moment. All are fine for the right job. For travel I would buy the following 3 lenses:
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8
Canon EF 16-35mm f4.0 IS
Canon EF 70-300mm L

These would cover everything from 16mm till 300mm, which should do for 99% of all shots. All lenses have stabilization, which is quite useful. I would start with the Tamron, which is the most versatile from the listed 3 lenses.

Black & White / Re: Your best Architectural & City B&W shots?
« on: August 02, 2014, 01:57:17 PM »
The shot of the Toronto Waterfront looks really great! Well done!

I store my filters in the Lee Multi Filter Pouch and well, all 10 pouches are filled with Hitech filters :D The Lee filter pouch is very well made and I can recommend it. For the foundation kit + 105mm pol filter I also use the Lee pouch.

I do use the Lee foundation kit with two filters slots and the 105mm filter holder attached to it. I use an older 105mm Sigma EX pol filter for about 50% of all landscape shots.

For a test shot a minute ago I attached for the first time the wide angle adapter ring (82mm) to the Tamron SP 24-70 mm lens. In front of the lens was the Lee foundation kit + 105 pol filter. A little bit of mechanical vignetting is visible in the extrem corners from 24mm till ~33mm. At 35mm the vignetting is gone. But I normally use the TS-E lenses for such applications. With the TS-E 24 mm L II vignetting occurs at 5mm of shift. 

A reverse grad ND filter is a special filter for sunsets and sunrises. The Hitech website says:
"The reverse grad is a vital tool if you are looking to take sunrise or sunset shots. This is because the ND part of the grad is upside down, with the darker part at the middle of the filter and the lighter part at the top. This ensures the maximum light reduction when the sun is at or near the horizon." I couldn't describe it much better.

Best regards,

I use the Hitech soft edge grad ND and hard edge grad ND filters in size 100 mm x 125 mm for more than 3 years now. They are pretty good, especially for this price. I guess the quality of the normal Hitech filters is all the same. Only the size of filters differs. A real difference will only make their new Firecrest glass filter series, which is not yet fully available (only the 4" x 5.65" are for sale).

The Hitech filters are made of very high quality resin, which is normally not an issue. It's light weight and quite scratch resistant. Only when shooting in direct, strong sunlight it becomes obvious that something else was put in front of the lens. Then their might be some additional reflections and a slight decrease in sharpness. But in such a situation lens flare is the biggest concern. Lens flare ruined some of my shots but the reflections of the filter never did. The slight decrease in sharpness is hardly ever noticeable and was no concern for me so far.

For a start I would buy the 3 filter soft grad ND kit. The 0.6 soft grad ND filter will probably be used most of the time. The hard edge grad ND kit is OK but not that useful. I can't remember when I shot the last time with the 0.3 & 0.9 hard grad ND filters.... I guess except for some test shots I never used them again.

Instead of some colored filters I would buy the reverse grad ND filters. Both, the 0.6 & 0.9, are quite useful. I use them very often for sunset and sunrise shots. They really make a difference and are worth the price.

BTW, I never used other grad ND filters before, so I can't compare the Hitech one to other brands.

Kind regards,

Technical Support / Re: Canon Repair Facility in Germany
« on: July 29, 2014, 08:04:54 PM »
I had used only once a repair facility. It had been Foto Maerz in Berlin. I was very satisfied with the repairs, so I can recommend them.

Best regards, Robert

Landscape / Re: Moonlit Landscapes
« on: July 24, 2014, 03:40:02 PM »
In Pai, Thailand, at night
24mm f5.0 20sec ISO250, EV -1,7

Hi, it really depends where you are. Here in Germany the best place is probably our largest camera forum with more than 420.000 users. You open up a thread, add a few pictures and wait a couples of days for the private messages to arrive. Customers pay upfront by bank to bank transfer or Paypal. I bought two cameras and more than a dozen lenses like this and would do it again. 

A juvenile common tern in Essaouira, Morocco
5d II + EF 70-300 mm L @ 300 mm 1/2500 sec. f8

Lenses / Re: What Lenses are missing from Canon's range
« on: July 16, 2014, 01:25:05 PM »
A really good TS-E 45mm Mark II or another TS-E lens in the range of 40 mm till 60 mm would be great. It can be f2.8 because there is no real need for a faster TS-E lens. But a really good lens for product photography is missing. The gab between 24mm and 90mm is too large. It would also be useful for architecture, landscape, fashion, art reproduction etc.

Software & Accessories / Re: Neutral Density Filters
« on: July 12, 2014, 07:13:59 AM »
Did anyone of you test the new "Firecrest IRND" filters yet? They claim "The new Firecrest filters are the best NDs ever..." on their facebook page. At least they are the most expensive ones they ever made. I would really love to read some hands on experience. Thanks.

Photography Technique / Re: Sunset/Ocean Techniques?
« on: July 12, 2014, 07:08:45 AM »

A normal grad ND filter won't help you at all. For a sunset with the sun near the sea level a reverse grad ND filter is needed. A 2-stop filter (0.6) should do when the sun is very close to the sea level. The reverse grad ND filter from Formatt Hitech does a pretty good job.

EOS Bodies / Re: What do you hope-for MOST from Canon in 2014
« on: June 27, 2014, 07:06:25 PM »
*  5d MkIV - 26-30MP with improved DR sensor, 1 stop RAW image quality improvement in all ISO ranges, enhanced metering and autofocus system from 1DX, dual pixel autofocus from 70d, improved buffer (40 photos in full RAW), dual compact flash memory card slots, backlit buttons for low light shooting, 3.5" vari-angle OLED touch screen, GPS & WiFi, improved low light autofocus points in viewfinder for low light shooting in Ai servo autofocus mode

I'd buy that.

Me too. But the next 5D should come with a range of interchangeable focus screens like the 5D II or 6D.

Software & Accessories / Re: Inconspicuous Messenger Bag
« on: June 20, 2014, 01:14:19 PM »
Hi, I can recommend the Matin "Camera Bag Balade 300". It's pretty well made for the cheap price and big enough to carry the 5D III + 24-70 + 2 other lenses / 1 lens + 1 flash. About a half year ago I had been looking for a very inconspicuous bag and so I looked through all bags Amazon Germany had to offer (more than 1200). This one was my favorite because it was the most inconspicuous bag.
It performed very well during my 2 weeks trip to Thailand. It could be carried for several hours without problems. The padding is quite good. The padding inside can be removed and the bag can be folded to be just 5cm high. In comparison to some other bags there is a zipper to seal the main compartment, which offers a bit more protection. This no-name brand is also not known for camera bags, which might help, too.

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