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Messages - RobertG.

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Lighting / Re: Cheap decent softbox for a traveller
« on: April 09, 2014, 01:06:36 PM »
For off-camera flash I love the orbis ring flash. It produces a rather soft light, more similar to a softbox than to a traditional ring flash. It's not really cheap but pretty small and robust. It also fits various brands of flash guns.

Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: April 01, 2014, 05:30:53 PM »
Zion National Park in March 2014

I really like the composition of your pictures, which were very well done in all 3 of them. The use of leading lines was well done.

BTW, are these HDRs? Somehow for me they seem to be unreal. The dark skies suggest a rather dull light but there is such a lot of detail in your pictures. The scenes are brighter and the colors more satured than it would normally be the case with such a sky and time of the day. The reflections in the water does not seem to match the sky in all 3 pictures. There are no shadows at all. Especially the first image looks like a collage of at least 3 photos. So for me the post processing seems to be overdone.

Lenses / Re: Lee Filter Adapter Question
« on: March 26, 2014, 08:04:58 PM »
I use the Hitech filters in a Lee filter holder. The Hitech filters were cheaper and easier to get. I though about switching to Lee for a while already but can't imagine that the image quality would improve enough to justify the investment. The newer Hitech filters like the reverse grad NDs or ProStop IRND are also a bit better than my older grad NDs. A single Hitech grad ND or a Hitech grad ND + pol filter is fine. Two Hitech grad ND filters is not such a good idea because you may notice a tiny bit of haze caused by 3mm of additional plastic infront of your lens. But the pictures are still pretty good.

BTW, depending on the exact position of the Hitech reverse grad filter to the sun, a much more reddish picture can be the result. This is often quite welcome. The attached photo shows the efect quite well. Both pics are out of cam but resized. Half of the 2nd one was stacked up as a layer on the 1st one. They were taken seconds apart and differ only in the position of the reverse grad filter and shutter speed (1/15sec vs 1/5sec).

Best regards, Robert

Lenses / Re: Lee Filter Adapter Question
« on: March 24, 2014, 07:19:59 PM »
A good alternative to the Lee Big Stopper is the newest 10 stop "Resin ProStop IRND" filter from Hitech. I got the 6 stop and 10 stop version of this filter some months ago and they are great! The pictures show almost no color cast anymore. I also have the two previous versions from Hitech, which I hardly every used because of the strong color cast. As far as I know the Lee Big Stopper is also prone to a rather strong blue color cast.

Much more usefull than ND filters are grad ND filters. For spectacular sunsets/sunrises a reverse ND filter is needed. If you are willing to be bothered by an adapter ring and unwiedly filter holder, get at least a 2 stop soft grad ND and 2 stop reverse grad ND filter. From my collection of more than a dozen grad and reverse grad ND filters, these are the 2 filters I use most. A matching pol filter in 105mm is quite expensive but definitely pays off. My rather cheap Sigma EX DG 105mm pol filter does a pretty good job for couple of years already. I do have some B+W pol filters in smaller diameters but I still couldn't justify the price of a 105mm B+W pol filter while having the Sigma one.

Kind regards, Robert

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Zeiss Otus Initial Impressions
« on: March 10, 2014, 09:39:13 PM »
These pictures look really great. I should seriously start saving money...

Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: March 10, 2014, 09:33:35 PM »
Pai, Mae Hong Son province, Thailand, in February 2014.

Lenses / Re: Help me justify the 17mm TS-E
« on: March 10, 2014, 09:05:59 PM »

Without the help of reverse grad ND filters the picture shown in my post above would look like the attachment. It was a quick test shot some minutes earlier. The shot is a straight out of cam jpeg, just reduzed in size.
As you can see, the use of a filter adapter and some proper filters can really make a difference. Fortunately the new Lee Adapter Ring for the TS-E 17mm makes it much easier now.

Lenses / Re: Help me justify the 17mm TS-E
« on: March 10, 2014, 08:56:49 PM »

One other point worth noting is that the benefits of an ND grad can be derived in software.  Before I had my adapter, I bracketed shots and used the ND grad feature in Adobe RAW to replicate the use of an ND grad.

I often use the ND grad option offered by Lightroom but still carry a big selection of ND grads and reverse ND grads with me. Post processing has its limits, especially with Canon sensors. ND grads can make it much easier. See the attached picture, which I took recently with the help of the comination of a 3 stop reverse ND grad and a 2 stop reverse ND grad. No HDR technique was used but in post processsing I used the digital grad ND offered by Lightroom as well.

Lenses / Re: Help me justify the 17mm TS-E
« on: March 10, 2014, 08:46:38 PM »
Robert, could you tell me what kinda head mount the Zörk adapter uses. Is it the Arca-Swiss type or the Manfrotto quick release type? Thank you in advance.

The Zörk adapter has no specific head mount. It offers just a 3/8" mount and a 1/4" mount. See http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=8286.msg151511 I attached a cheap quick release plate to it with the 3/8" mount.

To say the truth I seldom use the Zörk adapter nowadays. A Markins L-bracket is attached to my 5D II for while now and I'm lazy, so I just put the camera onto the panorama plate. For landscape panoramas it works quite well because Kolor Autopano Giga makes really good job.

Lenses / Re: All Canon TS lenses
« on: January 31, 2014, 02:43:10 PM »
Among the old Ukrainian lenses is the Arsat PCS 55mm f4.5, which is a medium format shift lens. There is a EF adapter available, which offers also tilt. I own this lens too but seldom use it. It is even less sharp and offers less resolution than the mediocre TS-E 45mm. The main problem of the Arsat PCS 55mm f4.5 is the ancient coating. It's also huge and quite heavy. But it's all metal and glass and will probably last a century or more!

From my own experience the TS-E 24mm L II and the TS-E 90mm are really great lenses and worth every cent. The TS-E 45mm is mediocre and lacks sharpness as well as resolution in comparison to the TS-E 24mm L II and the TS-E 90mm. The TS-E 45mm is better than nothing in this focal length but I really hope that Canon will bring out an updated version.

Unfortunately I couldn't try the new Hartblei lenses with Carz Zeiss optics yet. Basically these are older medium format lenses which use the same mechanical designs for tilt and shift as the old Ukrainian lenses. They are really huge and heavy. I find these aspects quite unpractical, especiall for landscapes, and prefer the Canon lenses.

Lenses / Re: zooms vs primes for landscape
« on: January 25, 2014, 01:24:55 PM »
Thanks to all who have responded. Many very good points have been made. I'm going with the 70-200 f4L IS to take care of the longer focal lengths, the 100 f2.8L IS for macro/portrait, the 17-40 f4L and the 24 f1.4L for wide angle/landscape. On longer hikes where weight is a big concern, I will only take the 17-40 and 24 f1.4. I appreciate all of your insights and comments.

Hi, if you are really into landscapes, the 17-40 f4 is disappointing. OK, it is cheap and very versatile but that's all. The corners are quite soft and lack resolution. The same is also true for the slightly better 16-35 f2.8 in my experience. The 24mm f1.4 would be a waste of money and effort IMHO. If you like the shallow depth of field, get the 35mm f1.4 or 35mm f2 IS instead. 35mm is a much better focal length for street photogrpahy.
I prefer the TS-E 24 L II for landscapes. The resolution is much better than the zooms and wider angles can easily be stiched together. The optics are probably the best wide angle you can get for a Canon body. The shift and/or tilt mechanism is used in almost all my landscape photos. I use 24mm in about 60-70% of my landscape shots, 35-50 mm for about 20-30% of all shots and 70-100 mm for the rest.

Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: November 12, 2013, 07:15:41 PM »
One from me - taken from our 4 week tour of the west coast of Canada and USA this summer

Cloud blows over Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR


Some amazing effects as the weather transitioned from fog to sun (and quite often back again quite quickly!).
Canon 6D
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 L

Really great shot!

Black & White / Re: Black and White Landscapes!
« on: November 12, 2013, 07:05:31 PM »
Taken during sunrise.

Video & Movie / Re: İstanbul Turkey Time Lapses
« on: November 12, 2013, 06:19:52 PM »
I really like the  last video. A little bit irretating is the change of the point of view after a few seconds. The tilt  effect works also better in the 2nd part of the video.

IMHO the tilt effect is more subtle but at the same time more useful when it is not parallel to the square format of the video. Then it helps to point the focus on your subject instead of being just an effect. This still shot shows quite good what I mean: http://felixcg.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/autumn-has-come-16b54fb7be67a5b7d0f2f03678ed3ac3-hd2.jpg In a time lapse video I would not use it to such an extent but in such a orientation.

Video & Movie / Re: Sharks at Night Video
« on: November 12, 2013, 06:01:15 PM »
the video is impressiv. But to say the truth the first 35 sec are a waste of time as well as the last 10 sec. There is not that much to see, just some big sharks coming and going, so it would make sense to shorten the video to 20-30 sec.

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