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Messages - dirtcastle

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1
Lenses / Re: 85mm
« on: November 13, 2013, 02:44:11 AM »
I think this is one of the reasons why the 135mm f/2L is so popular and revered (even though it is significantly longer than the 85 f/1.8. Much of Canon's fast glass will have CA wide open (including the 85L). The 100mm f/2.8L is a damn fine lens, but I don't see it as a substitute for an 85 f/1.2 because, well, f/1.2 is a lot bigger hole than an f/2.8 ). That said, I feel like the 85mm f/1.8 can get the job done most of the time. Just work around the limitations and avoid super high contrast and blowouts. You can also try slight underexposure and using Lightroom to lift shadows and highlights.

2
Canon General / Re: Best place to sell used Canon gear?
« on: November 13, 2013, 02:30:21 AM »
I feel like it always makes sense to try first on craigslist. On CL, it doesn't cost anything to list, you get to deal with someone face-to-face, no deal happens unless both parties are satisfied, and there's no risk of negative feedback.

As I see it, the only two downsides of CL are possible security issues (meet inside a public place) and you might get more online if you live in a small market.

I just sold a 5D2 via CL and it went smoothly and I got the price I wanted within a few hours of listing it.

3
Positive benefits of keeping packaging.

1. Less packaging material will be needed when you resell it. And the original box packaging is highly compact and might reduce shipping costs.

2. Packaging (or a receipt) will suggest that it's not stolen.

3. Keeping the packaging also makes it more likely to retain peripheral items such as battery covers, viewfinder covers, manuals in other languages, cables, etc.

4. The person you sell it to will also reap all of these same potential benefits of having the original packaging.

At some point, most of my camera gear will eventually be sold. I tend to think of body and lens packaging as being worth about $35-50 each. You better believe I'm gonna find a space somewhere to store $300-400 worth of packaging

4
EOS Bodies / Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« on: September 27, 2013, 03:38:30 AM »
There are lots of tricks for improving skin colors. I tend to use a combination of the following three tools in Lightroom, when working with RAW format (or even hi-res jpegs):

1. white balance
2. split toning
3. hue/saturation/luminance

I tend to go back and forth between these controls, because changing one usually requires changes to the other two. They all work in concert. While it's true that using color cards can help, a color card doesn't guarantee that you had good lighting. Ultimately, you are using these controls to create what would have been the optimal lighting.

5
Lenses / Re: Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS : Seller's remorse?
« on: August 23, 2013, 02:25:55 PM »
I would like to sell my 24-105mm also, but I'm holding onto it (for video) because it's the widest Canon lens with IS.

6
Lenses / Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« on: August 19, 2013, 01:31:32 AM »
I'm satisfied with the relative IQ of the 50/1.4. But the build quality makes me nervous for sure.

7
The current Canon lineup at 50mm is abysmal at best..........

Isn't this a bit of an exaggeration? To what purpose?

If you look at Amazon lens sales, Canon 50mm lenses are at #1, #5, and #38. The Sigma 50mm is at #65. I'm not saying sales is everything. But clearly the market doesn't agree. And I'm not saying Canon's 50mm lenses couldn't benefit from improvements (they each have shortcomings). Canon's 50mm f/1.4 might be delicate, but it's gotta be one of the best deals ever.And, not only is it sharp as hell, but it's IQ and bokeh have serious character.

8
Does anyone know about the sales numbers of 24/50/85/135 primes, i.e. why would Sigma add a 24mm next and not rival mediocre-sharp Canon's 50L with a 50mm update of their own or release contenders to the rather expensive 85L/135L?

My guess is because 24mm @ 1.4 has the largest vacancy in the market place. Right now it's just the Canon if you want autofocus, and the Rokinon didn't get good reviews at all compared to their 35mm.

50mm - They're probably working on it, but until they get it right are content with their current 50mm. Like i said, the 50mm prime market has a lot more competitors than the 24mm. It's definitely "ripe for the taking" given the optical performance of the current primes, but it's gonna be a harder sell to non-professionals (the majority of the market) who are content with the current Canon 1.4.

85mm - Their current 85mm 1.4 is already pretty darn good, and its the only auto-focus 85 1.4 on the market. Updating it probably won't bring in that big of revenue jump, so it's further back on the to-do list.

135mm - The canon is already pretty cheap, so I'm sure they're waiting to perfect OS or a > f/2 design to ensure it can compete with the ~$800 name-brand Canon.

The market is just more open for fast 24mm prime.

+1

Sigma needs to build up its reputation before it goes head-to-head with the entire Canon lineup. But it seems like they've got some fresh talent in both their engineering and business departments. A 24mm prime might not be the most popular length for the average photographer, but it's a favorite amongst pros. Plus, a 24mm is quite versatile on cropped sensors. And for video, it's a great length, especially with the proliferation of all these tiny sensors.

9
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: BMD 4K, EOS C100 or 5D3
« on: August 12, 2013, 02:21:24 PM »
Either image quality is important, or it's not. In this case, it doesn't sound like it's that crucial (if it were, you would have stated the minimum quality needed).

Image quality is important.  Our films are played to an assembled audience of up to 1000 people, and are frequently broadcast as part of a programme edit.  And I do this at present from my 7D and T3i (and ENG and HDV)

I'm not going to composite.  Beyond colour correction off my header qpcard reel I'm not going to grade anything.

Image quality is important.

Do I need RAW, no. 

I'm just sorry I gave the impression that, as a professional cameraman, that image quality wasn't important.

If you've only shot with the 5D3 then maybe you aren't best placed to provide a helpful answer?

And in terms of ease of use?

I've done the DSLR route,  love the large sensor look for certain things.  Hate the handling, hate the ergonomics, hate the cobbled on audio, hate the WB procedure.  Nothing about what I shoot is about 'ease of use' it's about buying something designed for the job.

You say 'if I were a pro shooter'?  What are you then? Shooting to show your pals on vimeo?

I'm not being chippy, but to throw in a line like 'Either image quality is important or it's not'...

..thats divisive and going to get a response.

Sorry, I was just trying to be helpful. I made sure to tell you my experience so you could put it in perspective. I didn't mean to suggest that you would be okay with bad image quality. The choice is between 1080p AVCHD and the more high-end formats. You said you don't need RAW, so that would seem to be a big argument for C100.

What I notice here in the advice is you have two camps. The first camp assumes you want the maximum image quality. The second camp assumes you want ease of use. Maybe there is a third camp that believes there is a camera that has both the highest quality and ease of use. Take it for what it's worth but I don't see evidence that there is an under $6000 camera that has it all. And I think the comments here (from "pros" and stupid annoying know-nothing-amateurs (like me)) seem to back up that hypothesis.

You say 'if I were a pro shooter'?  What are you then? Shooting to show your pals on vimeo?

Currently I'm a Photoshop/Illustrator professional. Over the last year, I've been learning video and motion graphics.

I'm definitely not above shooting something for my pals on Vimeo.  ;)

10
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: BMD 4K, EOS C100 or 5D3
« on: August 12, 2013, 01:33:10 AM »
You might consider the resale value of each. If you buy new, the lower the price of the camera, the less you will lose when you resell it (at least in absolute terms). If you buy used... you might not lose much at all if you resell it.

I tend to think of all my buying of cameras and lenses as "renting" them. I'm always ready to sell them if need be. Plus, when you rent you deposit the value of the camera/lens anyway.

I think most of us can relate to beating ourselves up over what to purchase, but from my own experience I can say that I'm never 100% it will work until I actually use it.

It's a work purchase, unlikely to be resold, just run until it breaks or is obselete.  If I was using my personal cash for it, yep absolutely, it's going to be bought to be used though, and with no mind to resale.

Assuming you have the budget for a new C100, I would get a C100 for bread/butter shooting. As I see it, the 5D3 and the Blackmagic cameras have a lot in common but they each have their inconveniences and extra work or gear required.

I've only shot with the 5D3, but I can't imagine the Blackmagic cameras are that much easier to use (either during shooting or in post). On the other hand, I can see how a C100 would be much easier to deal with in terms of shooting and workflow. Ultimately, I feel like it's a question of shooting needs vs quality needs. The trade-off would seem to be between ease-of-use vs ultimate image quality. If I was shooting run-and-gun solo stuff and 1080p AVCHD was good enough... bam, there it is: C100. But if you're gonna be tearing it apart in post and shooting for maximum quality: 5D3 or BM.

Personally, I could never spend that much money and still not have something better than 1080p AVCHD. But if I were a pro shooter, I would purchase the one that was right for my work. Either image quality is important, or it's not. In this case, it doesn't sound like it's that crucial (if it were, you would have stated the minimum quality needed). So it sounds like C100 is the way to go, to save you time and headaches for image quality you don't need.

11
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: BMD 4K, EOS C100 or 5D3
« on: August 10, 2013, 11:27:36 PM »
You might consider the resale value of each. If you buy new, the lower the price of the camera, the less you will lose when you resell it (at least in absolute terms). If you buy used... you might not lose much at all if you resell it.

I tend to think of all my buying of cameras and lenses as "renting" them. I'm always ready to sell them if need be. Plus, when you rent you deposit the value of the camera/lens anyway.

I think most of us can relate to beating ourselves up over what to purchase, but from my own experience I can say that I'm never 100% it will work until I actually use it.

12

But ultimately what I crave, like many people, is a single prime that will cover all-day, all-night, multipurpose shooting. I think most shooters agree that 50mm is just a bit long for that. An approximate 35mm length seems to be the survivalist length of choice. But c'mon, we all know it's just a bit wide for most portraits. Right? ;-)


It's called the 24-70 f2.8L. lol

Oh, I want one of those too! :'(

13
It does seem that 40mm lenses are the smallest and cheapest to make for the typical 135 format slr, even today with the EOS 40mm pancake, they obviously don't present technical issues even with 44mm flange distances so it begs the question, why isn't the 40mm pancake the "standard" lens?

I would much prefer a 40mm L standard prime. I know this is just a self-centered observation, but for me 50mm is just about 10mm too long and 35mm is about 5mm too wide.

As far as my lens quiver lineup goes, I wouldn't mind not having a prime between 24mm and 40mm. In fact, that would free me up to carry a 24mm, 40mm, and something a bit longer.

But ultimately what I crave, like many people, is a single prime that will cover all-day, all-night, multipurpose shooting. I think most shooters agree that 50mm is just a bit long for that. An approximate 35mm length seems to be the survivalist length of choice. But c'mon, we all know it's just a bit wide for most portraits. Right? ;-)

14
Lots of good information from everyone here. No need to get hung up on a few details. :)

15

As a primer, read this.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/08/lens-geneology-part-1


Good call! I recognized my 50mm f/1.4 in those configurations!

The lens configuration diagrams beg the question of whether there are inherent "sweet spots" in the lens configurations. Obviously it is easier to make a 50 f/0.95, than it is to make a 500mm f/0.95.

What I'm talking about is shifting the entire prime intervals up or down by +/- 5mm. Would it pose a challenge to engineers? And, obviously, I'm talking actual focal length... not the focal length put on the box by the marketing department. ;-)

I'm assuming that, in the 24-85mm range, lens engineers can create a comparable IQ lens at ANY length in that range. I'm assuming there aren't difficult lengths in that range that engineers struggle with. Please correct me if I'm wrong. :-)

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