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Messages - RobertG.

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Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod: Carry-On or Check-In
« on: December 14, 2012, 08:37:33 PM »
Hi, please be aware that in Europe quite a lot of airlines allow just one carry-on bag + a laptop. So I regularly need to check in my tripod or they would count it as my only carry-on item. But I prefer to have my camera bag close with me.  BTW, if you carry a heavy camera bag, the customs might get suspicious and send you for an extra check by the border control. It happened to me last year in Frankfurt. I was asked to come with them and then they checked for more than 5 min every item of the bag "for explosives".  ???

Lenses / Re: Lenses for Ice Cream Photography
« on: November 22, 2012, 06:04:17 PM »
If you have the budget, one could think as well about the 90mm f2.8 TS-E that will offer even more possibilities for food pictures on a tripod. It's the lens I use the most (by far) for studio pictures of small items.

The TS-E 90mm is definitely the better lens for food and product photography. To fill the frame with some icecream scoops and keep everything in focus is hardly possible with a macro lens, if you want to avoid difraction. A tilt-shift lens is the way to go on a DSLR. A used TS-E 90mm should cost about as much as a new EF 100mm f2.8 L IS. Of course a tripod and some kind of light setup is also needed.

I would hire a food photography nonetheless for the first pictures.  You can learn quite a lot, especially about the lighting. To set up the camera and lens is rather easy compared to the light and food preparation.

EOS Bodies / Re: A Brief 2013 Canon Roadmap [CR1]
« on: November 13, 2012, 08:37:47 PM »
A proper 50mm lens would be great and a 40+ megapixel cam a great update for my 5dII.

But really needed is an update to their ancient TS-E 45mm. Currently in the 40-60mm range there is no perfectly usable tilt-shift lens with superior IQ available from any company. The Schneider and Hartblei lenses are overpriced and the super-rotator design outdated. The older Arsat 55mm lacks resolution and proper coating as well as all the other older MF tilt-shift lenses. So there is really a huge gap between the great wide angle tilt-shift lenses from Canon and the tele ones from Canon, Hartblei and Schneider. Maybe Samyang will make one...

1997 first own camera: no name film P&S
2002 - 2006 Canon Powershot A200 digital P&S, shutter button broke
2007 - 2009 Canon Powershot S2IS super zoom P&S, shutter button worn-out
2009 - 2011 Canon 450D, still used for macro and as P&S with 17-55 sometimes
2012 - now Canon 5D II
2012 - now Canon S100

Canon General / Re: Europe trip, 1-2 months
« on: October 07, 2012, 01:59:06 PM »
Hi, in early April most of central and northern Europe is still in the middle of spring. So there are lots of spring flowers but the trees and fields are still bare. The weather is also very unstable and temps vary between 5 and 15°C mainly. In April southern Europe is best. In May I would go north to central Europe. e.g. The Netherlands or Germany. Now the fields are green and yellow (flowering rapeseed). The forests show wonderful fresh green. Central Europe looks best mid to end of May. I'm German, so I know the region quite well.

Best would be to choose a region, e.g. Iberian Peninsula, for 3-4 weeks and then move on to next. In the larger countries you can also spend the whole 2 months and experience the endless old towns andancient villages.

 I would start in southern Spain / Portugal / Italy, then go through southern France to either Belgium and The Netherlands / Ireland and GB / southern and east Germany. From north or northeast Germany southern Scandinavia (Danmark and southern Norway or Sweden) is easy and fast to reach, even by train.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5L II
« on: October 05, 2012, 07:38:30 PM »
This superb lens is especially useful for landscape photography. A precise composition was never easier than with this lens.

The noticeable vignetting, when lots of shift is applied, can be quite useful. In portait orientation, when fully shifted the light fall off at the upper or lower end (depending on the shift direction) is about 1-2 EV, which helps a lot with the sky. Several shots taken this way create a super wide angle panorama when stichted together. It shows almost no distortion and no grad ND filter is needed.

BTW, with a Lee filter holder and wide angle adaptor ring the last 2-3mm of shift show very strong vignetting. With a 105mm pol filter on top of the Lee filter holder the last 3-4mm of shift can not be used without distracting vignetting.

The two attached pictures were taken from the same position. Picture 1 was made of 9 stiched shots (with lots of overlapping). Picture 2 is the same view in landscape orientation. Both are re-sized small jpegs out of camera without further reprocessing.

Lenses / Re: Macro extension tubes
« on: October 03, 2012, 08:13:27 PM »
Hi, I just have the Canon 12mm II tube, which allows me to use my cheap EF-S 60mm macro on my ff 5DII. The autofocus works, although slower than without the tube. The vignetting is noticeable but it can be croped away...

Lenses / Re: How often do you use 35L @1.4
« on: September 24, 2012, 05:35:29 PM »
I use the lens mainly for street photography. I like it much more than a 50mm one. Normally I use f4.5 till f11 for this purpose. F1.4 is only used if I need some noticeable background blur (spontaneous cat or dog portraits for example). But even then I prefer f1.6, which is sharper.

The attached picture was taken with f1.4 two weeks ago in Marrakech, Morocco.

Lenses / Re: Vintage Lenses: Any Advise?
« on: September 24, 2012, 05:21:23 PM »
I also have a handful of old manual focus lenses. All of them are seldom in use but they were rather cheap, except for my Arsat 55mm f4.5 shift lens (cost me with EOS tilt adaptor more than 500Euro). I can recommend the M42 lenses. There are lots of them. The adaptors are readily available and cheap. The autofocus confirm chips don't work that well for me... but you can give them a try.

For 135mm I can recommend the Auto Vivitar Telephoto 135mm f2.8. The manual focus works very smooth, the bokeh is OK and focus to infinity works (albeit a bit soft). The Carl Zeiss Jena (CZJ) 135mm f3.5 is also OK. I have the Prakticar version with PB mount, which is identical to CZJ M42 except for the different mount. Like the Vivitar it's all metal but a bit small and light weight.

The old CZJ lenses are often a bit more expensive than the other M42 lenses, at least here in Europe. This has more to do with the name with the quality of the lens. The above mentioned lenses are at least equal and I actually prefer the Vivitar, which is better build.

BTW, be aware that the adapts work different on full format and crop bodies. The PB mount works great on crop but on ff the lens' end hits the mirror. I had to manually modify the original lens mount to fit it onto my 5DII. Now it works without a problem.

Be aware that some of the decades old lenses produce a slight yellow color cast, which comes from the ancient lens coating. Some used a weak radioactive coating and with its decay, the yellow color cast develops. The coating is the weakest point of these lold lenses. My Arsat is very sturdy build, has great resolution and is reasonable sharp but the coating is terrible, although it is just a 12 years old Ukrainian medium format lens. But try to show me any affordable 50mm or 55mm shift lens...

Hi, after looking at your flickr account, I would add composition to the list of topics. Your pics are good but composition is often a weak point. Look up "leading lines", "open space" and things like this.

Lenses / Re: Walk-Around Lens For Canon 1DX Camera
« on: September 06, 2012, 12:59:27 PM »
I would choose the 35L over the 50L. For street photography I often need a moderate wide angle. The 50mm are too narrow, so I very seldom use it. I use it even less than my TS-E 24 L for street photography.

Street & City / Re: Night Skyline
« on: September 06, 2012, 06:46:07 AM »
Hi, try to shoot night shos during the blue hour like some of the other members here did. A dark blue sky often looks better than a pitch black one. So the the best time is some minutes after sunset looking to the east. If there some clouds, the moon light can help, too. It can iluminate the clouds a bit. All this is better than having lots of empty black space.

Lenses / Re: All street photographers share your gear here!
« on: August 26, 2012, 06:41:40 PM »
Nice shot Chris! I love the branches in front of the subject.

This is what I am looking for. Usually I walk around with a 50mm 1.4 because that's the only lens what I have and its not big. I am also looking for some who uses 85 (on FF). Is not to tight to use it for example in some crowded are as Hong Kong or Venice?

Hi, I have both, the EF 50mm f1.4 and EF 85mm F1.8 on a 5D II. For portraits I prefer the 85mm. For a head shot you are about 1.5m (5') further away from the person to get the same framing as with the 50mm lens. I like to be a few steps further away, so I mainly use the 85mm for portraits. The IQ of both lenses is similar IMHO.

Hi, I do use picturenaut from time to time. I'm no big fan of HDRs, so I gave this freeware a try. It can produce HDRs, which are OK. It's also quite easy to use. This HDR was done with 2 grad nd filters and picturenaut.

Black & White / Re: Your best Architectural & City B&W shots?
« on: August 16, 2012, 07:09:15 PM »
Moscow at night, taken with my old 450D with EF-S 17-55mm during a recent business trip in June.

Moscow at night von Robert Gall Photography auf Flickr

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