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Messages - Arkarch

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Lenses / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x Availability
« on: April 16, 2013, 02:27:13 PM »
I also had a chance to play with the 200-400 at NAB last week.

My opinion - its advantage is flexibility; and the optics (at least through the viewfinder) looked very nice.  But I have concerns. 

If you consider that most will either shoot it wide (200) or long (400) - its a 200 f/4.0 and 400 f/4.0 + 1.4 extender.  Is the added convenience worth $10k+ ?  For those who need the rapid flexibility not to miss a shot between 200 and 560 (extended + 1 stop), maybe. 

The feel was nice - I could handhold it but it is physically long.  My biggest gripe was the position of the extender switch.  I really would like to be able to flick it while viewfinding but its in the 10:00 position. On a tripod/monopod, not as much an issue.

I think this is going to be a very hot lens and very popular with wildlife and daylight sports photographers.   High on my wish list but most likely I'll focus on the prime 2.8's first.

Canon General / Re: The need for backup equipment for paid jobs
« on: February 06, 2013, 06:34:47 PM »
Backup gear is an excellent investment.

My story does not involve a paid gig; but a group photo gig I paid $$$ for - in particular a steam railroad roundhouse evening event and following canyon day event out in the cold and snow.  I set up my 7D and 70-200 2.8 on a large metal plate - thinking that was level and stable.  Then I turned to fetch something in the bag and accidentally discovered a pivot point "hole" under the metal plate, sending my rig backwards into a pile of metal scrap.  Thought everything survived - but as I quickly discovered a hole in the body that wiped out my CF Reader (and later discovered a scuff that warped the focus ring on the long lens) - all before I got my first shot off. 

Fortunately another photographer had a third camera - a T2I - that I was able to use for the weekend.  I was fortunate - but without that I would be down the event cost plus lodging costs plus travel costs.

I sometimes wonder what I would have done if this was a paid gig.  You just cant tell the client - sorry, I dont have a camera.  IMHO, any paying gig requires two camera bodies plus a mix of lenses. 

I now have a full frame 5DIII that pairs well with my repaired APC-C 7D - and both come with me on any significant trip.  And if for some reason someone gets in a bind, maybe I can pay the prior favor forward.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« on: January 19, 2013, 04:18:28 PM »
EOS not good for NASA?

Hey, wait a minute!!  That I have to answer!   ;D


(and yes, the in-game logo and name was done by yours truly in 1983-84. The game released in 1987 by EA, same year as Canon's EOS line.   Happy 26!)

- Karl B

Lenses / Re: Lens and filter options for landscape photography
« on: October 17, 2012, 01:06:10 AM »
ND Grads, HDR, spot burning/dodging (NIK Vivesa for example), and all out PS layer blending are all reasonable techniques based on situation.

My preference is ND Grads where possible.  It is, as you said, expensive and time consuming.  Its not something to pull out if you are with family or friends who just want to take the shot and move on.  Using ND Grads means working the scene.  But if you have the time and the budget -  the results are worth it.

However sometimes the geometry of the subject or composition does not work with filters.  Then its the software tools. 

I tend to first look at Photoshop or if its minor like shadows, NIK Vivesa first.  Layering for the big areas; Vivesa burns/dodges for the smaller areas.  Before anything else, make sure you have done all you can with LR / Aperture, etc to have a good source and an best-case histogram.

If HDR is the only way, I might want to question the photograph first.  Most HDR unfortunately will end up looking unnatural.  Its very hard to be subtle; tho sometimes it can be a neat look if that is your intent.

All that said, in the right, experienced, skilled hands, HDR can work for many situations.

I'm a bit bitchy about these never-ending extensions of rebates.  I am looking to sell a very good EF-S lens for a decent market price and with these continuous rebates it depresses the used market.  Fine, Canon. Just make it permanent so at least I know.

I swear only by Kata bags, love 'em and their yellow padding. Got a bunch of different sizes and purposes. Just check their website.

I have to second that!

The yellow padding is not only great contrast with black equipment, it allows velcro dividers anywhere for complete compartment customization.  Plus mine has two pull out compartments.  Outside side pockets might be a bit too tight, but overall versatility in a nice looking package.

Landscape / Re: ND Filters - Solid or Graduated
« on: August 27, 2012, 01:00:48 AM »
There are many techniques out there - and it is good to understand them and apply them to the situation.

HDR and Photoshoping multiple images are ways to do it in some cases.  You can get some very stunning, dramatic effects.  But sometimes multiple exposures dont work - especially when sky elements are moving - fast moving clouds, direct sun, so on, dont always play nicely with HDR (I have the NIK product); This is also true in action / sports shots.

I also have a growing set of 4x6 Lee for many critical shots where there is a delineation that is soft or hard.  It makes for a natural transition and its one full exposure.  Sometimes I like to apply that effect.

For the original question, it has not been fully explained...

You use Graduated Filters to affect the exposure an specific areas of the image.  Most often, its a bright sky and darker landscape, but it could be any number of situations where sections must be exposed down.

You use Solid ND Filters to extend the exposure time across the entire image.  This can be useful for very wide open shooting in bright light where you cant get a fast enough shutter speed; or more conventionally for timelapsing water/waterfalls, bluring out people in crowded areas, or to add a certain texture to the image with a range of stationary and moving elements (a softened field in front of a rock solid mountain for example).  I have a custom Lee-format filter that has Solar Film to shoot the solar eclipses and transits.

I used to use round when I was playing 77mm.  Now I have a number of lenses - so going square Lee (or Cokin) allows one filter to be used on a variety of lenses.   And of course, with Graduated Filters you need to position them.

One note to add, beyond Grads, Solids, Polarizers, and Protection filters, most everything else can definitely be done in Post.

Lenses / Re: 70-200mm f/2.8 took a bad fall... Any advice?
« on: August 26, 2012, 07:35:35 AM »
If you qualify for Canon Professional Services, you may want to become a member, at least at the Gold Level.  The repair discount may be well worth it.

I had damage on the forward barrel of my 70-200 f/2.8 II from a tripod accident that required repair of the mechansims underneath.  I think it set me back around $300 USD after discount as a major damage repair after discount, which would have been near $500 without discount.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Does Zeiss glass ever go on sale?
« on: August 24, 2012, 11:54:13 PM »

No, I have never seen Zeiss on sale.   You just buy it and love it.  The serious glass does not disappoint.

With all the rebates, I wonder if that depresses the used market.

I do want to note that LensRentals does sell New Zeiss.  I like using them because they KNOW how to pack.  I suppose its because they like getting their gear back without damage - and new is packed just as good.  I bought my ZE 21 through them.  I would have bought the ZE 100 through them as well except I needed BML this go-around to have for the fall season. They probably get my next ZE order.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 3D X [CR1]
« on: August 21, 2012, 01:47:58 PM »
What if it is called 2D or 4D instead?

If 4D, it better be capturing smell or splashing water at me or something.

Lenses / Re: What lenses do you own?
« on: August 20, 2012, 01:48:37 PM »
Canon EF 24-105 f/4 - decent general performer.
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM II - Beautiful lens
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 - Good for the crops, but due to be replaced.
Canon Teleconverter 1.4 III - adds length to my 70-200.
Zeiss ZE 21mm f/2.8 - Awesome landscape walk-around. 

In the queue
Zeiss ZE 100mm Makro f/2 - For super sharp landscapes needing length.
Zeiss ZE 15mm Distagon f/2.8 - Edge-to-Edge sharp.
Canon TS-E 17mm - maybe. 
Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II maybe... but I may also just go for a 35mm or 50mm prime.
Something long (400+) in the Canon line.

My direction is toward sharper the better. 

Lenses / Re: New Wide Angle Zoom Discussion & Opinion
« on: August 15, 2012, 05:43:56 PM »
I own a 16-35mkII and it worked perfectly with the 1Dmk3 I had.

After I replaced the 1Dmk3 with a 5Dmk3 the 16-35mkII wasn't good enough anymore: the off-center unsharpness is just too visible. I bought the 17-40 which is a lot sharper (but obviously lacks the F/2.8).

I really like the 16/17 to 35/40mm focal range, so I'm really hoping they are going to release a sharp 16-35mm F2.8. The 14-24mm F2.8 sounds as a nice addition to the 24-70mm, but for the type of photography I'm doing I'd rather use a 16-35 + 70-200mm combo.

Just my 2 cents.


You're the first person I've ever heard say the 17-40 is sharper than the 16-35 MkII.  I'm going to go further and say you outright had a defective copy of the 16-35 because every tester says the 16-35 is sharper and my own experiences have reflected that.

If I recall the charts correctly, the 16-35 is sharper, but has a fairly dramatic drop at the edges.  The 17-40 has less of a change from center to edge - so it the perception may be less pronounced.

That or yeah, crappy 16-35 copy.  But even then, I recall most of the sharpness is in the upper end of that lens - which can be handled by far better lenses.  A 14-24 or even a really good 16-24 would be preferable, since just about everyone has 24 on up.

Lenses / Re: New Wide Angle Zoom Discussion & Opinion
« on: August 15, 2012, 01:50:37 PM »
The only way I even care about new Canon wides is if they finally become edge sharp.

Regarding the tail end of the article, when does the Zeiss 15mm finally make it to the channels?  I love my Zeiss 21mm (its become my landscape walk-around) and the 15mm would complete my needs at the wide.  Except for maybe a Canon TS-E 17mm or if I want to fisheye with the 8-15mm

But if Canon finally does get their sharpness at the level of some of their longer lenses... maybe I would consider.  But that would mean they care about more than wedding and sports.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Carl Zeiss ZE 35 f/2
« on: June 08, 2012, 05:28:31 PM »
Thank-you for the photos.

I have the Zeiss 21 - absolutely stellar - and thinking about the 35mm down the line.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Bought a 5D Mark iii Today (YAY)
« on: June 08, 2012, 05:26:03 PM »
Hey, I know exactly where that is in Vegas.  I was less than a mile away at my office off Bermuda. 

Congrats on the purchase.   Its a damn good camera. 

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